Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Catching up!

I knew I needed to get caught up here but I didn't realize I hadn't posted since October. Most of what I have painted since then has been for the monthly challenges on wetcanvas. If you ever have trouble getting motivated to do something, try to find a good challenge group. I find having an objective and a deadline can help me get started.

The theme for the acrylic challenge in October was autumn. I painted this view from the hydro line in the Duck Mountains. In the distance you can see the grain elevator in my home town. 14x11"

The fantasy/sci-fi challenge was Halloween and I painted this dragon carving a pumpkin. I believe I used Procreate on iPad for this. It still needs some work.

The November acrylic challenge was to paint something inspired by the Hudson River School. They often painted grand landscapes with a lot of distance framed by strong verticals. I wanted to use one of my own references and chose this scene. I don't think I really captured the feel of the Hudson River paintings though but then I also made it more challenging by painting it very small, 2.5x3.5".

I did another digital painting for Resource Factory Tycoon. This was a limited time painting available in the game in December.

In December I took part in a gift exchange in the fantasy/sci-fi forum. Names were drawn randomly and I painted this for a guy who had been a member in both the sci-fi/fantasy and the acrylic forums for some time. While thinking about what to paint for him I thought of a painting he had started of a lady in front of a swimming pool. I thought he might enjoy my version of  a lady by a pool. This was done in acrylics, 7x5".

In January the challenge in both forums was to paint something inspired by a song. I didn't come up with something that would really fit the fantasy/sci-fi forum but I did do something in acrylics, just a little 4x4" painting for fun. Can you figure out what the song was?

If you haven't guessed, keep reading. And yes, I own sparkly gold shoes.

The February acrylic challenge was fun with vegetables. Something made me decide to paint an owl made of fruits and vegetables. 5x7"

In March I did two challenges. The acrylic challenge was to paint something based on your favourite quote. I thought of something Monet said... I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.

The fantasy/sci-fi challenge was to paint your true self. This is me, head in the clouds and clouds in my head. Done with Painter 2017.

In April I was doing some beadwork, trying to make beaded eggs. It was difficult because it's hard to find instructions in English and everyone else uses slightly bigger beads than I have. I just wanted to try it out though. The first one really took a long time.

This one was quicker but I ended up covering an egg with clay to make the design fit. 

Also did a quick sketch for the fantasy/sci-fi challenge, which was historical monsters. I prefer to do something cute so I drew Cerberus as a puppy.

And this month I did both challenges. The theme for the fantasy/sci-fi challenge was nature. I have been playing a game on Roblox called Fantastic Frontier which has some interesting plants, usually quite blocky in shape, and I thought it would be fun to try to paint some of the mushrooms in the game in a more realistic shape. Done with Painter 2017.

The acrylic challenge theme was Vermeer. After someone found a painting of a meerkat with a pearl earring I got my inspiration.. Dachshund With a Pearl Earring. I used my dog Diamond as the model. The hardest part was getting her to post just right. After many tries I finally got a decent reference but she was looking away so I had to make some adjustments to the eyes. This is 3.5" square.

This is how it looks in the frame.

Oh, and the song was Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes by Paul Simon.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

X-wing Box

This was done in August, again in response to online challenges. This time I was able to combine two into one. A fantasy/sci-fi challenge was the theme of technology. An acrylic challenge was to choose an art movement that we like. As I looked through the long list of movements, I saw space was one, which went perfectly with my idea. I used a photo of a nebula as inspiration for the background and the x-wing was my son's choice since I was I painting the box for him. It was also a fitting subject because this year my son and I watched all the Star Wars movies and the Clone Wars together. He was six at the time and it was his first time watching them.

This month I painted a picture for one of my favourite Roblox games, The Resource Factory Tycoon. The game has a painting factory and I asked the creator if he would add one of my paintings and he agreed. Then I decided to paint one especially for the game based on a scene in it. This one was done in Painter 2017.

Here I am all dressed up for Halloween with my painting in the background.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

More Challenges from June and July

I took part in one challenge in June where the theme was based on the old wedding verse:

Something old, something new
something borrowed, something blue

We didn't have to incorporate every part of it into the painting but I thought it would be more interesting to try. After some thinking I came up with this - the old pyramids painted to look new with a borrowed business cat (aka Sir Meowsalot) and a blue sky, and some blue on the sphinx as well. I created this with Painter and printed it and gave it to my son who loves Roblox and YouTuber Denis Daily. I kept it pretty simple because digital paintings always take so long for me, and I also moved a pyramid to make it fit my vision.

In July I took part in two challenges. An acrylic challenge was to paint a bucolic landscape with our non-dominant  hand. It wasn't too bad but I wouldn't want to do that again. I also recorded as I painted:

The fantasy/scifi challenge theme was magic. While thinking about it and looking through my reference photos, I thought weddings can be magical, especially when the reception is decorated in a Gothic/Victorian style. I used a photo I took of the head table as a reference and painted this in acrylic on a 14x11" canvas.

Friday, May 26, 2017


One of the things that keeps me painting is the acrylic challenges at wetcanvas.com.

Back in January the theme was skies, and we were supposed to paint three different skies, but I only managed to get two done, a sunrise and a sunset.  I have always wondered if there was an observable difference between sunrises and sunsets. One web page I looked at says there is basically no difference so I could tell you that this painting is either a sunrise or a sunset, but I choose to call it a sunrise.

In this one, though, anyone local would know the direction we are facing. And for those who don't, this is a sunset.

February's challenge was opposites. I went with soft and hard and painted paws holding a rock on a wooden circle which I later turned into a brooch with a polymer clay bezel.

The March challenge was tonalism, spring, and a big brush which was interesting but, well, you can see how that went in my video. https://youtu.be/Nd1Liyq-F7I

April's challenge was to paint in the style of Moriandi and keep it very soft and pastel. This was an introduction to Moriandi for me and it isn't easy to paint in a different style but I think I managed to get some of his influence in this.

And in this month's challenge we were given a few very vague and blurry images to choose from as a starting point. I chose this one:

Here is my first layer of paint:

And this is what I came up with:

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

RPG Themed Shadowbox

It has been a long time since I last posted. I'll admit to not being very productive over the past year, though I have done some painting and crafting. Some of it was just for fun and some I will get around to posting online eventually.

I was also working on this project on and off and it is finally finished. It all started with the blue bottle charm which made me think of potions in video games. The idea grew to create something around that theme. When I found a set of old cake pans at a yard sale it didn't take me long to realize they were just what I needed for this project.

This is not based on any specific game but I will say my biggest influences would be Final Fantasy and Blade of Darkness. If you play these types of games you will recognize many aspects of them in this piece. I especially wanted to focus on the exploring and finding things that help you in the game... weapons, armour, potions... and the excitement of finding a new place and doors that open.

There is a mixture of handmade and bought elements in this. The backgrounds of the larger boxes are acrylic paintings and the smallest is simply painted to look like wood grain. There are some handmade polymer clay items; the decoration on the side, treasure chest which opens and has glass jewels inside, sword, shield, round and oval decorations, bricks, stones, apple, candle, and a small silver box. The book is also handmade and can be opened. And then there are some resin pieces, charms, beads, and fabric flowers.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Blue Sky Over Golden Field Commission!

I was recently commissioned to do a painting for the new funeral chapel in Dauphin, Manitoba. I was asked to do a blue sky over a golden wheat field with the Duck Mountains in the background and a little Ukrainian church near the horizon. And in case you don't recognize it, this is meant to represent the Ukrainian flag. It is 4 x 2 feet, a lot bigger than what I normally do! I was a little worried at first but it wasn't too bad, just a lot of repetition. I don't want to look at wheat again for a while.

The client finally saw it in person today and was very happy with it, actually, if I may say, used the words "breathtaking" and "mesmerized". After a long time of little success this is really a thrill for me. Thank you Joe for this amazing opportunity!

A close up:

I will post again when the painting on display.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Miniature Sewing Room

My second shadow box is done. I started on this last year and then put it aside for a while and recently decided it was time to finish it. This idea all started with these items that I bought, along with the little sewing machine, years ago.

I had to build the sewing table, using cardboard, filagree pieces, wire, etc. The shelves are also made of cardboard. On them there is fabric, ribbon on spools made of paper and plastic tubes from inside a pen, thread on spools made from a toothpick and cardboard, painted cardboard buttons on paper, books and boxes made from paper and fabric, a basket made of wire and crochet cotton with balls of yarn that are mostly crochet cotton, and a couple of the bought items.

On the walls there is a faux mirror made with a resin frame and silver sticker paper, a cuckoo clock that is just a charm, a little hat that I made, and a tiny painting in a resin frame. The painting is 7/8 x 5/8" (2 x 1.5 cm). And there is a pretend light fixture on the ceiling which is a painted resin piece, bead caps and a glass drop. The texture on the ceiling which you can kind of see was done with modeling paste.

Here is a close up of the painting.